As a retired person, I guess the Lockdown should be easier for me. I was already practicing separation, isolation and social distancing – I just hadn’t noticed. It is true that this wretched virus has given many people the time to stop and analyse how they spend their time and allowed them to discover what is important in their lives. Hobbies, health, nature and quality time spend with those close to us have gradually come back into focus and for some, a new life balance has emerged as a result.
Much has been said & written about the value of communication both for security and wellbeing. Social media has provided a much-needed mechanism for isolated families & friends, colleagues and associations to maintain a degree of contact. The video technology of Skype, Zoom & Teams has proved a lifeline on both a personal & commercial level. Telephone conversations have made a resurgence, being favoured over text or emails since lockdown. Even the humble letter has made a comeback.
It seems to me that above all else we human beings need to communicate and will happily make use of whatever is available. Community is simply a shared desire to communicate and interact with others and hence as we widen the range of channels through which we communicate the more we strengthen the community in which we exist. It’s good to talk, Skype, text or write to somebody – so do it today. Anyway, what else have you got to do in lockdown?
As social media encroaches ever further into the structure and fabric of the WWW the fate of the small personal, social and services websites becomes a cause for growing concern. Searching for the more obscure, once the raison d’etre of Google, Bing & Yahoo now returns page after page of advertised items and unrelated promotions marring access to those useful websites originally sought. Facebook & Twitter, Snapchat & Dropbox have much to offer but their fluidity is also their “Achilles heel”, as they do not provide a fixed point around which detailed or particular information can be anchored to aid those searching for specific subject matter. So support your local websites or very soon they may not be there when you really need them.
Just returned from Disney World, Florida and I have to say it was most enjoyable. However it was not just the theme parks & rides that were impressive but also the organisation and business methods that they employ. The Disney training model is used across many global companies and is considered one of the most effective brand recognition & loyalty system ever devised. The customer centric approach is what enables the amazingly efficient parks to function at consistently high levels of customer satisfaction. This is achieved by a amazing attention to detail; every element of the park operation is analysed, optimised and monitored down to waste bin spacing, transport frequency & number of customer & staff interactions. Many of us have enjoyed the the magic of Disney but the making things look easy needs a lot of work. This is also the case with website design; a good website is inviting, interesting and functional but above all it must deliver what the visitor wants and expects.
With good specification tablets now coming in at under £100 it has made communication, entertainment and data exchange even easier.
Although Facebook and Twitter provide an excellent means to pass general information around , a website still has much to offer and can be a really effective tool for displaying specific information; is easily navigated and is a convenient, stable point on the Web.
The increasing availability of free WiFi hotspots are adding to the uptake of the smartphone and tablet, rapidly eclipsing the laptop and PC in both useage and new sales. Traditional directories ( aka Yell. com) has been outpaced by Google and Yahoo and are destined to be confined to the pages of history soon. A website has never been easier to create or more relevant to the new media that is now the domain of the increasing Android dominated web.
For those of you who may have visited this site over he last months to always be greeted by my rather basic holding page , then you could be forgiven for thinking that this was a very poor advert for a web design site. The truth is, as so many of you will understand, that when you are busy then it’s your needs that get the lowest priority. I’m reminded of a friend who once ran a Burger van, so busy that he sold his own lunch and had to go hungry and a florist who having received a birthday bouquet accidentally used it in preparing flowers for others.
Anyway, repeated jibes and daily haranguing from friends, clients and above all own conscience has finally persuaded me that I must launch a “proper ” site.
I have taken the opportunity to build this site using the popular Wordpress programme firstly as its primarily a blogging and contact site and secondly to explore the potential of ordpress as the basis of future personal and family websites.
My expience so far has been very positive and I can see that as the platform for a complete site or simply as a bolt on blogging page then wordpress has much to offer.
Having said I don’t do Commercial sites , I’ve been persuaded to help set up some sites for a couple of small businesses which wanted a presence on the Net but were not actually transacting business through the Website.
In this case a specialist Drainage and Plumbing company just wanted to showcase the range of services it offered and a Website provided a much more cost effective means than traditional advertising route.
The brief, from a local Dog club, was for a simple, light hearted but informative website designed to be attractive to dog owners seeking pet training within the catchment area.
Based on the precept that the people visiting this site were more interested in dogs than gimicky web pages the site was built to display a full page on screen with little or no scrolling required. A simple navigation system, with relevant but concise information displayed in an easy to find and read format was also considered a fundemental requirement. The club’s founder commented ” Right from the outset we knew that this was our site , not someone else’s rehash or a flat prescription package. At every stage we were really happy with way the site was concieved, designed and implemented and are truely delighted with the final product. We regulary recieve compliments and it has proved a real benefit, not just for our club but also for the local community in which we operate.”